On April 23, Carly and I made our first trip of the season down to the Los Padres Mountains in Santa Barbara County to collect data on the milkweed sites. We first headed to Upper Oso, where Paradise Road has been obstructed by the water flow from the heavy rain season. We parked the car where the road ended, crossed the river by foot, and walked about a mile out to the Upper Oso Campground to visit the Californica milkweed plants.
The campground looked quite a bit different from last season due to a fire and heavy storms. It was our first time out to the field by ourselves, so we did our best to remember the path up the mountain to track down the milkweed plants. We collected data on a total of 6 plants, and came across some caterpillars feeding on the milkweed. After a long time of wandering around the mountain searching for the rest of the plants, we decided to leave and head to the other sites.
We then drove to the Davy Brown sites to see how the plants were doing there. The closer site, Davy Brown Road, had quite a few plants up, with many others just beginning to come up. Davy Brown Trail had only 14 plants, and they were much smaller. There were no signs of breeding at either site.
As our first time out for the season and by ourselves, it took a bit of time at each site to locate the milkweed patches. Walking from the river to the Upper Oso site also took up some time, therefore we were unable to visit the NIRA site on this trip.